[cabfpub] IPR policy and authorial intent

Gervase Markham gerv at mozilla.org
Thu Nov 3 16:21:12 UTC 2016

Is authorial intent relevant in the discussion of what the IPR Policy means?

The lead architect for the policy in 2012 was Marc Braner of Microsoft.
He's now moved on to other things, but it may well be possible to
contact him and ask him which of Position 1 and Position 2 (or some
other position) is closer to what he had in mind when writing the policy.

If we were to establish that, would it at least give us a way forward
for the next few ballots? Supporters of the alternative Position may
want to argue that the method we are using has drawbacks which need to
be addressed, which would be fine. But would both sides be willing to
allow Mark to rule on original intent, and then adopt that method for at
least the purposes of getting the Forum back on its feet?

I think that if this ever came before a judge, antitrust or otherwise,
and he said "you stand accused of not following your IPR Policy", and we
said "well, there wasn't consensus on what it meant", then his follow-up
question might well be "well, did you ask the guy who wrote it?".
Perhaps we should do that.


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